Lilliana "Lillie" Abernathy is not your average girl. After a prophetic vampire explains what she has seen, a shocking discovery of her own relations with the Cullens confirms her worst fear; she is destined to become one of the most powerful vampires the world has ever seen. But her past with vampires--dating back to the day she was born--and her confusing feelings between herself, a human, and a werewolf motivate her to become fate defiant, but can she do it?
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1. "Call her Lillie."
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“Well, Lillie,” Charlie Swan said as I took a bite of my cereal, “you're in the news again.” I knew that reading the paper wouldn't do me any good. It was a bad idea, one that would only serve to remind me of horrid memories, but I had to read it. I had to know what the majority of Forks would be thinking when they saw me later on today, embracing my first day at Forks High School. What were they going to say about the odd newcomer, with a history that only movie characters could possibly have lived?
I could see Charlie's pity for me as he handed me the paper, hesitant at first. I looked over the page, bracing myself for the horror that I was about to read. As I scanned, I saw the picture of me at the bottom. It was the school picture from last year. The junior school year picture from West Seattle High School. I was happy in the picture. My red hair had been straightened and fell gracefully over my shoulders in two beautiful braids. My blue eyes sparkled with the only happiness I'd ever known.
“Lillie, can you read it out loud?” Bella asked me as she plopped into the seat next to mine. “I would like to know, if it's alright.”
“Why wouldn't it be? Everyone else will know,” I mumbled. I looked at the picture for a few more seconds, and then began reading the report about me. “Two weeks ago, our own Chief of Police, Charlie Swan, had two childhood friends pass away. They were the parents of 17 year old Lilliana Abernathy, of Seattle Washington. Abernathy had no family left, and was sent to live with the Swans, which was a request made in the parents' wills.
The newcomer to our quaint little town has caused some stir, and reporter Lindsey Jones has gone out to get the facts and quiet down the many rumors floating around about what has happened to her.
Abernathy, who once lived here in Forks until she was three years old, has had her family picked off since the day she was born. Every year, at least two people in her family, or close friends of her family, have been murdered. As of six month ago, the only living relatives she had were her parents and younger sister, Kathy. After the family disappeared for about a week, it was found that the last of her family had been murdered, this time in front of her as torture. She'd been tied to a bed and forced to watch as her family was literally ripped apart limb by limb. She had been beaten to nearly an inch of her life and was rushed to the hospital to recuperate her multiple injuries.
Soon it became clear at the hospital that after two months, she was no longer well. A suicide attempt sent her to Brattleboro, not only because of the fact that she was a flight risk and had a history of mental disorders in here family, but also to protect her. Soon, she was released and sent to Forks, where she has been living for two weeks.
Abernathy is to start school this week as a senior at Forks High School. The town wishes her the best of luck as she embraces the new chance at a happy life she has been given.”
What the news reporters didn't know was the truth. They didn't know that these weren't just any killers; they were vampires. Cold, hard vampires with only blood lust to drive them. They didn't know that there was no way anyone could ever catch them. They didn't know that they would never stop killing. They didn't know anything.
“Well girls, I think you'd better get going if you plan on making it to school on time,” Charlie told us. Right. Like I wanted to go to school at all. My entire life and just been broadcast to the whole town. Now, every single person who saw me was going to know how my family had been picked off one by one, about my suicide attempt, about the grotesque details of my parents' and sister's death, about me being sent off to a mental facility because of a history of mental disorders in my family, about everything. What were they going to think of me? What would they say? How were they going to treat me. The only thing good about going to school was that I would finally get to meet Bella's boyfriend, Edward, for the first time.
I sighed and peered through the kitchen window at the light rain that fell gently to the ground outside. It was a cold rain, and I didn't like the cold. It reminded me too much of the evil monsters that had destroyed my life, and taken many others. I grabbed my denim jacket from off of the chair and slid into before following Bella out to her truck. She turned on the heater and the cab of her truck was toasty within minutes.
When we got to the school, Bella showed me to a small building where I would find the counselors office and get my schedule. The building was small, but was warm and smelled of cinnamon. There were many doors down the side of the halls, and I figured they were individual offices for each counselor. Finally a tall, slender woman came out of one the doors in the back. I could tell she knew who I was when she saw me; she was smiling when she came out, but as soon as she laid eyes on me her expression turned to one of pity and sorrow. “Miss Abernathy?” she asked. Her name tag said Jennifer Tynes.
“That's me,” I said awkwardly, trying to smile. She didn't smile back.
“I'm very sorry for you losses. Welcome to our school,” she said. She was very pretty, and very young. Probably an intern, I thought. She was tall, standing at about 5”11. She had long dark hair that came to a widow’s peak on her forehead, giving her face the shape of a perfect heart. Her dark hair contrasted nicely with her big, bright green eyes. She reminded me of those teenaged girls in the news that are always standing beside a reporter who is covering another hard hitting cliché of the importance of treating your body with respect, no matter how large or small it was. She looked as though she hadn't eaten in weeks, very frail. “I'll go get someone to bring you your papers.”
With that, she was gone. I sat down on the chair in front of the main desk and waited for someone to come out. Finally, a short and rather plump woman came out. Her short red hair was curled on her head, and made her stand out. I stood up and walked to the opposite side of the desk as her. Her name tag said Pam. “You must be Lilliana,” she said.
“Lillie,” I corrected. I hated being called Lilliana.
“Right, then. Well, here is your schedule. I've highlighted on your map the best routes for you to take to each class, but if you get lost don't hesitate to ask for help. I've attached a slip of paper on here for all of your teachers to sign. I'll need you to bring that back here after school today.” With that, she sent me on my way to class.
My morning classes were rather tough. Most people stared at me with wide eyes as though I was some kind of walking tragedy. I didn't have to introduce myself—everyone already knew me pretty well anyway.
Finally, I had just one more class to go through before lunch where I would see Bella and finally meet Edward. I'd heard so much about him, and he seemed so kind. The only time I'd ever heard a bad thing about him was from Charlie, but why should he like him? He was the one who was dating his daughter. That was just typical.
I got lost on the way to the English classroom, maybe because I was so happy to be getting a break from everyone staring at me and just being with my foster sister and her boyfriend. After a few moments, I realized I had already passed the room and litteraly ran back to it. I made it just in time, right as the bell rang. All the students were in their seats already, and there were only two seats open, side by side in the very back of the class room. Finally, a class where no one would sit by me and stare at me from behind.
I handed the teacher the paper for him to sign as he introduced himself to me as Mr. Varner before sending me to the seat closest to the wall in the back of the classroom. The teacher called roll, but when he got to the N's he stopped. “Has anyone seen Mr. Newton today?” he said with a huff. Just then the door slammed open and a tall guy with blond, slightly bronzed hair rushed into the classroom, out of breath.
“I swear, Mr. Varner! It's not my fault. The locker was jammed and I had to go get a janitor to open it for me. Look, I have a note!” Several girls giggled as he passed them.
“Mr. Newton, this is the third time this month that you've been tardy. I'll let you off this time but I cannot allow you to be tardy any more or you will be given a detention. Now go take your seat, please.”
The boy came and sat next to me, and I felt hopeless once again as her turned towards me instead of facing the front of the classroom. “Hey,” he said in a whipser, “I don't think I know you. Guess you must be Lilliana Abernathy, right?” he asked.
“Lillie,” I told him quickly. I prepared myself to have to answer a hundred questions like usual, and hoped the teacher would move him at some point in the day, though I knew he wouldn't.
“Sorry, Lillie,” he said. “That's a pretty name. I like it. I'm Mike. Mike Newton, that's my name.”
I just stared at him, my brow furrowed. Why hadn't he asked me all the questions like everyone else had? No matter where I went, everyone asked me questions about my family and what Brattleboro was like. “Thanks, I guess,” I told him.
“What?” he asked laughing a little bit. Why was he laughing? I wasn't used to meeting people like this. Usually it was a game of 20 Question and then a few judgmental looks and then it was as if I wasn't there.
“Nothing. It's just that I really expected you to ask me about my family or something,” I told him honestly.
“Why should I? I'm sure I'll hear about it later, not that I care. Why put you through the pain again?” I could tell that we were going to be friends. Finally, someone who didn't try to pry apart my deepest thoughts after only a few moments of knowing me. It was actually really nice.
“Mr. Newton! Please hush! If you would like a chance to talk with the new girl, then try to arrive to class on time. Be quite and let me get on with my lesson!” I laughed a little as Mike's face reddened and he turned to face the front of the classroom. Mr. Varner droned on about Animal Farm. I'd already read this at my old school the previous year, and I wasn't too interested to have to read it again, so instead I got out my notebook and tried to make sense of my trigonometry notes from second period. They didn't make any sense to me, especially with the teacher going on and on about the metaphor of the story and who represented Stalin and Hitler in the story. Who cared anymore? Not me.
Finally the class ended and Mike grabbed my books before I'd even stood up. “Allow me,” he said. “What class do you have next?”
“Let me see,” I said, pulling the little folded paper out of my pocket and glancing over it. “Well, first I have lunch, and then gym,” I told him.
“That's awesome! Me too,” he said. “C'mon, show me where you're locker is and we can drop this stuff off and go to lunch. I'm sure Bella won't mind you sitting with me. She'll be there soon with Cullen anyways.” Even with our small detour to my locker, we were one of the first ones in the cafeteria. I went through the line and got a Chef Salad with an apple and some milk. I followed Mike to one of the tables and sat down, my eyes watching for Bella.
“Oh, hey Mike, I see you’ve met my sister,” I heard Bella say behind me. I turned around and smiled at her as she sat down next to me.
Mike had just finished shoving a turkey sandwich into his mouth and his words were barley intelligible when he exuberantly declared, “Yeah, she is pretty cool.”
It was just then that I noticed Edward standing behind Bella, one hand placed gently on her back and the other balancing a plate of food. Something was very odd about him. I didn’t know what it was, but something about him was amiss, ominous and haunting; my instincts told me to get far away from him, that he wasn’t safe. Despite this, I didn’t want to seem rude. I had no reason to believe my instincts at this moment. From what I’d heard, Edward was a very kind young man who received great respect from his elders and much admiration from his peers. He hadn’t shown any proof that he was bad, so far.
“Edward?” I inquired, my eyes still scanning him, looking for what might have sent a fearful burst of adrenaline through my veins.
“Oh yes!” Bella exclaimed, obviously suddenly remembering her boyfriend, standing there. “Edward, this is Lilliana, but don’t call her that, because she hates it. Call her Lillie.”
I smiled, reaching out my hand for Edward to shake, but he seemed hesitant, like he was afraid to touch me. I noticed him glance to Bella as if asking permission to touch me, and when she nodded approvingly he shook my hand. That was when I finally understood. I took a moment to really look at him now, examining every detail as I pulled my hand fiercely away. First, I noticed his hands. They were cold, colder than ice. They were colder than death itself, and hard as stone. He looked as though he may have been molded out of perfect white marble. Perfect, like a mannequin. His eyes were not the normal color of any natural human being; they were gold, a bright honey dew. Beautiful, yet terrifying in every way.
Edward Cullen was not a human. Edward Cullen was a vampire. And as soon as the realization hit me, he was gone in a flash, leaving everyone confused as ever.
Then a new realization hit. Not only was Edward Cullen a vampire. He was my sister’s boyfriend.